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Honey and Allergies: Interview with Dr. Jean Layton, ND

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Category : Interviews, Whatcom Locavore Basics

HoneybeeDoes eating local honey help reduce pollen allergy symptoms? I’ve come across the idea several times but have never seen scientific studies about it. I decided to call my local naturopathic physician, Dr. Jean Layton, to see if there was any truth to it. As you’ll see, our conversation also ranged to other fascinating topics regarding the relationship between health and locally grown foods. Continue Reading

Whatcom County Bees

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Category : About Food Sources, Bellingham, Book and Movie Reviews, Farmers' Markets

Honeybee

Photo by William Warby

For the past decade, US media has carried reports of declining honeybee populations and the impending doom it could mean for food production. I’d seen depressing stories about colony collapse disorder (CCD) where whole hives of bees inexplicably disappear, so it was with some trepidation that I picked up Beekeeper’s Lament by Hannah Nordhaus from the library. However, I wanted to know exactly was happening with our fuzzy little friends. Continue Reading

Locavore Baking

Category : Seasonal Menu Ideas, September

Locavore BakingBaking using only local ingredients presents some difficult problems. First of all, there’s the grain used to make flour. No wheat is grown commercially in Whatcom County that I know of. We’re fortunate, though, to have a flour mill based in the Fairhaven district of Bellingham. They try to get grains from as close to home as possible, and they grind them here in the County. That’s local enough for me, at least until someone figures out how to grow wheat in this climate reliably. Continue Reading

Yogurt, Chives, and Sorrel Dressing

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Category : Recipes, Salads

Photo of Salad with Yogurt, Chives and Sorrel Salad DressingGreenhouses allow us to enjoy fresh salad greens most of the year here in Whatcom County. DEVine Gardens has a colorful mix of various tender greens that I really enjoy.

Making a local dressing is a bit of a challenge, though. To the best of my knowledge, no one in Whatcom County produces a salad oil, the basis of most salad dressing recipes. The next alternative is frequently lemon juice, also not produced locally.

In this recipe I offer one possible solution for both problems. First, using yogurt as the main ingredient gives the dish a creamy texture similar to that given by salad oil. Second, the leaves of the sorrel plant have an acidic, lemony tang that is quite delicious. Continue Reading